Neighbors provide input

Traffic concerns are at the top of the list for some Butler-Tarkington residents when it comes to the construction of a possible parking facility.

Butler University officials presented a proposal for the facility to the neighborhood association on Monday evening.

Ben Hunter, chief of staff, and Rich Michal, executive director of facilities, introduced the preliminary design to a room of about 20 board members and residents.

Local residents expressed concerns with the plan, which ranged from environmental issues to traffic flow.

One Butler-Tarkington resident said her concern is the traffic flow during construction and Hinkle events.

“I do agree that the parking structure is overdue,” she said, “but my immediate concern is the traffic flow on Sunset Avenue and whether or not it will pour into the side streets where I live.”

Hunter explained how priorities have changed for the university’s parking concerns.

“The original plan for a parking structure was very long term,” Hunter said, “and we want to make it a short-term plan.”

The planned parking structure could be located behind the Schrott Center on the current Clowes Hall parking lot.

Sunset Avenue would remain open because that road is much too populated to ever consider being closed, Michal said.

“The only way that would ever be closed would be temporarily for street-scape construction and creating a boulevard feel with green space in between traffic flow,” Michal said.

Both Hunter and Michal also said the plan has not yet been approved, but they hope the Board of Trustees will do so in the next few months.

The facility could add 1,000 parking spots, about 300 beds and potential retail space.

Jeremy Stewart, neighborhood association president, previously told The Collegian that his main concern was street parking near campus.

“The important thing is mostly getting concentrated parking,” he said. “If students have a spot they can park, it’s going to help neighbors keep people out of their yards.”

“Best-case scenario, the garage will be a 12-month build time,” Michal said.

If all goes as planned, the structure could be finished by August 2014.

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